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LIVEBLOG Obamacare Verdict: Open Thread

UPDATE: The Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Big loss for the liberty movement today.

In the verdict announced today (June 28), shortly after 10AM, the court upheld the individual mandate as well as almost all the rest of Obamacare.

SCOTUSBlog is covering the proceedings live at
http://www.scotusblog.com...

Further updates are being added to the end of this post.

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The Daily Mail reports:

Barack Obama faces one of the deciding moments of his presidency this week as the Supreme Court is set to announce whether or not his flagship healthcare overhaul is constitutional. ...

The ruling could move markets, turn economies and greatly affect the Presidential contest between Mr Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

http://www.dailymail.co.u...

Meanwhile, The Atlantic Wire has a roundup of predictions and pre-written Monday-morning quarterbacking from a variety of sources:

Some are already looking back on the strategies Obama's team used to defend the Act and criticizing their choices. Did they use the right offense, the right defense, the right special teams? The Washington Post's Peter Wallsten and The New York Times' Peter Baker are both looking back and wondering what Obama could have done differently in the event the Act falls. The Times' Baker writes that the Democrats' early confidence over the bill's constitutionality might end up being their undoing.

http://www.theatlanticwir...

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The Supreme Court deferred announcing the Obamacare verdict on Monday, instead announcing the Arizona illegal immigration law (SB1070) verdict.

Today (Thursday, June 28), the court will announce all remaining verdicts, including Obamacare, at 10:00 AM Eastern.

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While we're waiting, here's an article from the good-old Tenth Amendment Center: Obamacare and “Commerce:” Does A Include Not-A?

The Constitution grants Congress power to “regulate Commerce . . . among the several States. . . .” The word “Commerce” was designed to encompass only some designated activities: trading (buying and selling) among merchants, navigation and cargo insurance, commercial paper and finance, construction and maintenance of ports, and a few others.

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SCOTUSBlog says there are 344,000 people trying to read the blog, awaiting the High Court's decision. There are a couple hundred protesters outside, a few single-issue protesters, and the rest for and against government health care.

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We're a few minutes away from getting the decision. Here's a primer on the issues being decided: http://www.scotusblog.com...

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The justices affirmed the appeals court ruling in re: Alvarez. This means that the Stolen Valor Act (prohibiting lying about service medals) is unconstitutional as written.

www.google.com/search?q=A...

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Here's the Stolen Valor decision, just in case you were thinking about lying about your medals :)
http://www.supremecourt.g...

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Health care decision is out. It's being analyzed by the legal beagles.

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Amy Howe reports "the individual mandate survives as a tax." Wow, didn't see that one coming. Is that the Supreme's way of splitting the difference?

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Another big surprise: Chief Justice Roberts joins the left side of the court for this decision.

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Bottom line from Tom at SCOTUSBlog: All of the Affordable Care Act is upheld, except for some restriction on the Feds' ability to end states' Medicaid funds.

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There's a guy in a patriot uniform marching in front of the Supreme Court with a "Don't Tread on Me" Gadsden Flag. Well, they just did that.

This is definitely falls in the latter half of "You win some, you lose some."

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From around the web:
http://www.theamericancon...
http://reason.com/blog#ar...
http://slatest.slate.com/...
http://www.salon.com/2012...
http://www.theatlanticwir...

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The Court ruled that Congress doesn't have the power to mandate health insurance under the Commerce Clause. But that doesn't matter because five justices voted to uphold the mandate under Congress's taxing power. Six of one, half a dozen of the other ...

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Justice Ginsburg is farthest to the left in this ruling. She would uphold the mandate even under the Commerce Clause. She would also uphold the Medicaid portion of the act as-is, which the other justices did not.

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Justice Kennedy fails to save the day, stating "In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety." But his side had only four votes.

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Here's the ruling in PDF. Read it and weep, folks:
http://www.supremecourt.g...

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The administration had three arguments: Commerce Clause, Necessary & Proper Clause, and the taxing power. Basically, it seems they threw mud on the wall to see what sticks. Looks like the third time's a charm in this case.

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It seems the Supremes ruled that the mandate is a tax for the purposes of its constitutionality, but not a tax for the purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. If the mandate were indeed a tax, the Tax Anti Injunction Act (TAIA) might have prevented the courts from ruling on Obamacare until a taxpayer had actually paid the tax.

So, they seem to be having it both ways. Anyone care to explain that one? My head hurts. Maybe that's because I'm not a lawyer.

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Wrapping up, Chief Justice Roberts provides the one-vote margin of victory for President Obama's signature health-care legislation, all the more surprising because of the President unprecedented attack on the Supreme Court during a State of the Union address. Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Kennedy all voted (unsuccessfully) to overturn the health-care law.

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The Telegraph reports that CNN and FOX both got it wrong in reporting the verdict. They reported the mandate had been struck down, and even offered analysis of that. (See link for screenshots.)

Just for the record, DP might have taken a few seconds more in reporting, but at least we got it right!

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The verdict in 100 seconds by TPM:

http://youtu.be/RvQtb-UNPB0

Reactions by Messrs. Obama and Romney (progenitors of this whole mess in their own ways):

http://youtu.be/30Jtg1viK_M

http://youtu.be/4oat9kWDJ10
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What effect will the ruling have on the economy, the election, and the Paul-Romney battle?

And does this mean the Federal government can force you to buy anything it wants, calling it a "tax"? And what will be the next thing they force you to buy? Low-fat margarine? Tofu?




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They will say it is all right

I have very limited knowledge of the exact circumstances in this case so I really don't know what I'm talking about here. My prediction is nonetheless that the court system will facilitate the government. That's how it usually goes...

That's generally a safe bet.

When the Federal Government's court rules, it is no surprise that it traditionally rules in favor of . . . the Federal Government! Once in a very blue moon, however, they'll strike down a law passed by their brethren in order to make it look like something legitimate is going on in terms of "checks and balances." That may happen here, and we can always count on Mittens to step in and "improve" the federalization of health care. So I wouldn't be surprised to see at least a partially adverse ruling.

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"Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it." -- Joseph Goebbels